Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Why I Write

     I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I was an avid reader as a child, and I think this prompted an interest in producing my own words. I started by keeping a daily diary - this soon died out though, as going to school almost every day while nine years old doesn’t make for the most riveting of subject matters. I liked creative writing at school though, and would write my own short stories at home as well. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more motivated to write in spare time, as I no longer have someone making me do it. I still write fiction, but after being asked to write for a local newspaper while in high school, as well as the personal and discursive essays we wrote, I’ve dabbled with other sorts of writing. Starting this blog when I went off to university was a natural progression. Now, I write in some almost every day; for my coursework, for this blog and the Huffington Post, for my new MuggleNet internship, and for my (attempt at a) novel.

     Writing is something that seems to come pretty naturally to me. I’ve always been interested in artistic ventures, music and art being my favourite subjects at school. I still play the piano when I’m at home, and though I draw rarely nowadays, it’s still nice to do it now and then. However, although I enjoy these, they aren’t my preferred form of self expression. For me, expression comes with words. Be it an upfront, personal story, a topical opinion or an entirely fantastical piece of fiction, writing is how I exercise my artistic side and express whatever it is that I want to get out there. Words are how we communicate as humans beings, to one another, and they are what comes easiest to me. I find that words are a clearer, more direct form of expression and explanation than other art forms (even though I still enjoy those too!) and they can carry incredible power. I like writing more than speaking too, as it immortalises your words, and allows you the time to think them over, and phrase things in the best way. I’m by no means an exceptional writer; but I enjoy writing, and sometimes I can’t help it when the words just start to pour out.

     Naturally writer’s block is an occurrence from time to time. My creative process isn’t something that I’ve thought about much; usually I just start writing and see where I end up. Coursework and news articles are a different story naturally, as I work from sources. For this blog, I tend to loosely plan my posts in advance, because if I didn’t, life would get in the way and I wouldn’t upload nearly as regularly. For fiction, sometimes I just blurt out short scenarios, often from prompts, like my 642 Things series. Longer pieces required far more planning of course; my ‘novel’ has a clear outline, even if the details and actual writing of it are somewhat lacking, and I keep changing parts of it. 

     Inspiration can come from anywhere though. I have a notebook that I always carry with me, to scribble down ideas before I forget them. Sometimes it goes untouched for days, other times I fill pages and pages in one go. It’s nice to have a stockpile of ideas too, as I don’t use all of them straight away. Media and the internet can be a great help; sometimes I find inspiration in other stories, in films and TV, or in music (my Musically Inspired series); sometimes I respond to ideas in other people’s blog posts; sometimes a quote or image from Tumblr or Pinterest can spark a new thought. Other times, I find inspiration in the real world, from detailed descriptions of places I’ve been (my Musings series) to character studies of complete strangers I’ve seen in cafes or passed on the street. While the internet exposes you to things from across the planet, I find the real world works better when I’m blocked.

     Where my writing takes me in the future, I’ve yet to find out. But no matter what I wind up doing, I suspect I will always continue to write in one form or another. This blog certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! Of course, it’s great when people read and enjoy or respond to my writing, but that’s not why I do it. I do it for myself, because I enjoy it and because it’s my way of expressing my thoughts and emotions.

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